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CCK/KLC Partnership Grants

Our regional church has a marvelous opportunity: 40—count ‘em, 40!—training slots in the leadership training programs offered by Kansas Leadership Center in Wichita. These are for people who want to make progress on something important – that is, to grow their leadership skills, to aid their congregations and the Christian Church in Kansas in addressing the adaptive challenges we face. This training is intended to help you lead your congregation more effectively, more powerfully, to change lives and turn systems in healthy directions.

Congregations will benefit most by sending teams of 2-3, one of whom is probably your pastor. Congregations will also benefit by identifying a challenge on which they want to make progress, as they pursue this leadership training. Plan to focus 90 days on the process: pre-work, the training and its application, beginning 21 days before your event.

In addition to congregational teams, CCK plans to send interested staff, moderators, and other regional leaders. Trainings fill fast and registration early in the year is encouraged.

The KLC Partnership Grant pays tuition only. On Nov. 14 the CCK Executive Committee will consider a recommendation from the Kansas Bible Chair Task Force for a grant to reimburse books, housing, and meals for those who take part. The CCK Moderator team, in consultation with regional staff, will review grant applications and select participants.

This is not for everyone. It is hard, and you will have homework. Before registering with the grant code, you must attend an orientation sponsored by one of the regional offices and pay a $25 commitment fee. Plan to take part in a follow-up group to help the ideas stick.

The three types of workshops:

  1. Your Leadership Edge     $400 value      The largest group, typically 150 people
    • A three-day training for anyone who wants to lead more and get better results
    • Transforms how leaders approach problems; builds personal capacity to lead
2018 Program Dates:
  • Wichita
    • February 6-8
    • March 6-8
    • April 3-5
    • May 8-10
    • June 4-6
    • July 10-12
    • August 7-9
    • September 11-13
    • October 9-11
    • November 7-9
  • Kansas City
    • February 21-23
    • June 12-14
    • September 18-20
    • October 16-28
  1. Lead for Change     $1295 value      Typically 70 people
    • For people who feel the weight of leadership daily, the need to change systems.
    • Offered three times a year, Feb./April, May/July, August/October, in 3 phases:
      • Four-day training at KLC in Wichita
      • Individual coaching and on-line learning
      • Three-day training at KLC Wichita
2018 Program Dates:
  • Cohort 1
    • Session 1 – January 30-February 2
    • Session 2 – April 17-19
  • Cohort 2
    • Session 1 – May 1-4
    • Session 2 – July 24-26
  • Cohort 3
    • Session 1 – August 14-17
    • Session 2 – October 23-25
  1. Equip to Lead      $350 value       Typically 30 people. “Train the trainers”
    • For those who know the KLC framework and want to share their ideas with others; i.e., those who have had another training.
    • How to use the book Your Leadership Edge to teach leadership
2018 Program Dates:
  • March 13-14
  • May 16-17

  • August 23-24

  • October 18-19

Application-Congregational Team


Youth Spring Retreat

Where is God in the Midst of Struggle?

Spring Retreats for Youth will be March 2-4, at the Disciples Center at Tawakoni. The retreat will include both middle school (Chi Rho) and high school (CYF) youth and sponsors.

Keynotes will feature Lara Blackwood Pickrel, an ordained minister serving as a Pastor in Missouri. Lara is a graduate of TCU and Brite Divinity School and is a long-time advocate for youth in the church. She’s also a new mom!

 The program will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and ends at 10:45 a.m. on Sunday. Remember to eat before you arrive.

What should I bring

  • Sleeping bag
  • Towels
  • Personal Items
  • Offering
  • An Open Heart!

Register before Wednesday, February 21 and save $15.  The registration fee for registrations received after February 21 is $80.  Register and pay online below or download the registration form and mail with payment to Topeka regional office.



ECM Calls Watkins, Campus Pastor

Christian WatkinsEcumenical Campus Ministry (ECM) at Kansas State University called Rev. Christian Watkins as Campus Pastor. She will provide pastoral and programmatic leadership to support K-State students in exploring their spiritual beliefs through fellowship, study, and service.

A fifth-generation Disciple, Watkins is returning to her home state of Kansas after serving most recently as a mission co-worker in Istanbul, Turkey with Global Ministries. Prior to that, she was in congregational ministry with the United Church of Christ in Connecticut. Watkins graduated from the University of Kansas and Yale Divinity School. Her ministerial passions include interfaith and ecumenical partnership initiatives.

Watkins enjoys writing musical liturgy, spending time with her family, and blues dancing. She begins her time as Campus Pastor with enthusiasm for ECM’s incredible witness at K-State and in the Manhattan community. She is excited by the challenge of faithfully serving neighbor, whether in the Flint Hills or across the ocean.

Watkins’ parents are members of Parsons FCC and active regional leaders as well. Her mother Di represents the Christian Church in Kansas on the General Board, and her father, Mark, chairs the region’s Personnel Committee.


Kansas Churches, By the Numbers

That statement usually doesn’t warrant an exclamation mark, but the two-year comparison in the newest Yearbook & Directory shows that our regional participating membership—the total of all our congregations—increased by 854 from 2015 to 2016! Baptisms and other additions are also more than 2015. This is cause for celebration!

Kansas congregations also appear in the superlative lists: ‘Congregations with the Most Reported Baptisms’ for their size include Atchison, Chanute, Haysville, Herington, Scott City, and Wichita-Hillside. Those with the ‘Most Total Additions (Baptisms and Transfers)’ are Cheney-Trinity United, Gorham-Community, Haysville, and Wichita-Hillside. The congregations making the ‘Largest Contributions to Disciples Mission Fund’ for their size include Hutchinson-Park Place, Manhattan, Topeka-First, and Ulysses-Shelton Memorial, and the ‘Largest Disciples Women/CWF Contributions’ came from Girard, Hutchinson-Park Place, Manhattan, McPherson, Topeka-First, and Wichita-Riverside. Finally, Kansas Disciples Women are 4th among all regions in their total offerings.

These reports and more are on pages 464-474 of the 2017 Yearbook. Will your congregation be included in these recognitions in the 2018 edition? Set a goal now!


Nurturing Your Spirit

Nurturing Your Spirit
By: Ken Marston, Regional Minister
Kansas Messenger October 2017

“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” (Acts 2:42)

Devotion. Dedication. Discipline. These point to an essential truth if we desire a growing relationship with God. We must be willing to spend time with God developing our relationship. Time with God cannot be haphazard, occasional or unfocused.

Early Christians’ devotion, dedication, and discipline was focused in four ways: 1) “to the apostles’ teaching” (think Bible Study for today), 2) to fellowship (we learn to love God by learning to love others), 3) to the breaking of bread (gathering at the Lord’s Table in worship), and 4) the prayers. This prayer moves beyond intercessory lists and want lists, to an earnest seeking after God, a pouring out of one’s heart as if to a dear friend, and quiet listening for God’s still small voice.

So, I encourage you. Devote yourself to daily Bible reading and regular study with others. Devote yourself to nurturing relationships with others. Make weekly worship a priority for your life. Take up the discipline of prayer, when you start your day each morning, and in the evening as you lay down to sleep.


Rethinking Regional Assembly 2018

Thoughts from your Regional Minister
By: Steve Martin
Kansas Messenger October 2017

Rethinking Regional Assembly 2018

Four of us ventured to Newton, Iowa, where the Upper Midwest Region of the Christian Church (DOC) has its “holy ground.” The event was promoted as All Congregational Gathering and is what we know in Kansas as Regional Assembly. Yet it has almost nothing in common with our event.

Members of UMW congregations gathered throughout the buildings and grounds. Folks were there to renew friendships and to seek new ideas and ways to be the church—and there was ENERGY! The setting was similar to a State Fair, with games and activities and of course food, including a giant S’more!

Regional Ministers Tiffany Williams and Bill Spangler-Dunning led in the Opening/Welcome/Blessing of the day. Tiffany reminded many of their days as campers or counselors, and reminded everyone of the significant effect of camp programs. UMW has one of the strongest programs throughout the Church. Bill welcomed everyone and reminded them that the day provided many optional activities and encouraged folks to explore and to have a good time.

Workshops were offered, along with displays of congregational outreach efforts and some General Units. There were activities and games for all ages, including inflatables for the children and a bungee jump for anyone willing to try it! Bill said frequently, “Have a good time!” The business session was 21  minutes long, for electing officers and approving the Regional Budget. The Gathering closed with worship.

We are in an age when we struggle to reinvent church so that it meets the needs of our current age. Our CCK traditional Regional Assembly is like stepping back to a previous age – not bad, just not the best. We can do better!

The earliest leaders of our Restoration Movement met together in gatherings that were similar to what we experienced in Iowa. Teaching, preaching, fellowship, and the joy of being together made those events important. Perhaps this is a model for us to pursue. The Regional Board will be considering this possibility with hopes that we can create a Regional Assembly, by whatever name fits best, that is difficult to miss!


Thanksgiving Special Offering

Collected November 12 & 19, the Thanksgiving Special Offering benefits the colleges, universities, seminaries, and divinity houses affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). These are an extension of the church, challenging students to understand and respond to God’s call to serve. 

Thousands of students have attended the Colleges and Universities of the Christian Church, receiving both a quality education and the opportunity to remain within our Disciple heritage.


Your financial gift provides scholarships and support for this ministry. When you give to the Thanksgiving Offering, you are investing in our students and helping keep education costs down.

Attending a Disciples College or Theological School is possible through the scholarships and grants that are made available by generous individuals, the Disciples Mission Fund and your gifts to the Thanksgiving Offering.

Progress is Evident at Tawakoni

The Camp Steering Committee is excited to see the beginnings of a new caretaker residence, compliments of volunteers! Foundation work began at the end of August; framing began on Sept. 21. We expect to have the house weathered in this fall, and to complete the interior work during winter months.

The modest 1500 sq. ft. open plan home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms will be an attractive entrance to the camp. It is east of the existing home, facing the entrance gate. 

Directed gifts, along with Regional Board action to allow the use of existing funds, makes the house possible. A self-build strategy, borrowed from Habitat for Humanity, will make this a relatively low-cost endeavor. Regional Minister Renee Bridwell has challenged every church in South Central District to bring a volunteer crew; we hope that every church in the region will take up the challenge and send volunteers to help. Volunteers need not be carpenters; there is plenty of opportunity for helpers, cooks, and clean-up as well as those who need to upgrade their skills under the tutelage of others.

Building the caretaker’s home with volunteers is a trial run for building the adult-friendly cabin, now named Jones Lodge, which will replace the former Cabin 3.

Summer campers enjoyed the renovated pool immensely! We continue to be grateful for gifts from throughout the Region which made the renovations possible, including our Pool Partners who have given $1000 or more to the pool.  

More than half of the $280,000 cost has been covered, and we seek gifts to retire the remaining debt, beginning with the annual Gala, Oct. 28. Read more about the 2017 Camp Gala & Auction here.

Donate to this or any other ministry online here or mail to the Topeka regional office.

The Kansas Region is fortunate to have many friends throughout the congregations who care deeply for youth and for the adult ministries which happen at the Disciples Center, and have come to know this as holy ground. We thank God for the many ways congregations and individuals give support and encouragement. 


 Thank You Pool Partners!
Click here to view the full list of pool partners to date.

Individual Partners:
  -Patty & Paul Allen
  -Phil Alexander
  -Gary Allerheiligen
  -Anonymous Donor 
  -George & Jaylene Arnett
  -Linda Bradley & Holton First CC
  -Renee & Steve Bridwell
  -Joe & Sharon Bullock
  -Laura Dargitz
  -Genene & Steve Faubion 
  -Gale Fleming
  -Bill Garrett
  -Kelly & Pam Gindlesberger
  -Danny & Dee Ginn
  -Bob & Mindy Gleason
  -Doug & Sue Gray
  -Diane & Dick Hall
  -Jean & Jim Harris
  -David & Linda Jones
  -Janie & Paxton Jones
  -Debby & Steve Martin
  -Charlotte & Jim McCollough
  -Martha & Robert Neidhart
  -Lanny & Pam Norstru
  -Marie & Skip Overmiller
  -Lew & Vickie Pearce
  -Cheryl & Floyd Pearson
  -Dave & Debi Rogers
  -Cheryl & Dave Roy
  -Erin & Richard Sack
  -Brad & Julie Stover
  -Drew & Stephanie Switzky
  -Mary K Thelman
  -Ella Umphrey
  -Gail & John Wadsworth
  -Bill and Donna Wise

























Church & Fellowship Group Partners:

Church & Fellowship Group Partners:
  -Arkansas City Disciples Men
  -Augusta FCC
  -Douglas FCC Chi Rho
  -Fredonia FCC
  -Great Bend FCC
  -Kansas Disciples Men
  -McPherson Disciples Women
  -Oxford CC 
  -Pittsburg FCC Youth
  -South Central District
  -Topeka FCC
  -Topeka FCC, JOY Class
  -Topeka FCC, Seekers Class
  -Topeka West Side CC
  -Ulysses, Shelton Memorial CC
  -Wellington FCC
  -Wichita, Oakview CC
  -Wichita, Woodridge CC
  -Topeka FCC, Seekers Class
  -Topeka West Side CC
  -Ulysses, Shelton Memorial CC
  -Wellington FCC
  -Wichita, Oakview CC
  -Wichita, Woodridge CC


Reconciliation Special Offering

On Sunday, Sept. 24, and Sunday, Oct. 1, the 2017 Reconciliation Offering will be received in most congregations.

The Special Offering funds our Church’s mission imperative to become a pro-reconciling and anti-racist church through experiential education, inclusive worship, and intentional dialogue. Through it, we are able to provide programs for leadership development, curriculum for dialogue and learning, and partnerships within the Church and our communities.

Recent events have reignited the conversation about human brokenness evidenced in the sin of racism and perpetuated in our institutional structures and systems. Your generous giving to Reconciliation Ministry is transforming lives and strengthening Christ’s witness in the world showing that we love one another, even as Christ continues to love us!

The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has a history dating from the 1960s of sharing our resources to address the racism of our society and the racism within our own church. We have called this process the Reconciliation Ministry.

We receive this offering in the fall and use the funds throughout the year to give grants to the pro-reconciliation/anti-racism initiative to organize to dismantle systems and structures that perpetuate this sin of division within the Church.

The 2020 Vision adopted by our church names this work as one of the four priorities of our mission together as a whole church. This voluntary annual offering is the only source of funding for this ministry.

As the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) lives into its identity as a “movement for wholeness in a fragmented world” contributions to this offering facilitate camp and conference and leadership development opportunities as well as programs for dialogue across difference that promotes life-giving community within our beloved church and among the whole family of God.

Caretaker House Build at Tawakoni

Like our old swimming pool, the caretaker’s house at Tawakoni needs replacement urgently; we’ve done all that can be done with baling wire, chewing gum and duct tape, and it’s beyond the reach of hot glue and paper clips. The present house was moved to the grounds in the early 1970s, and according to a former resident, “it was in bad shape then.”

A Habitat-style volunteer build is planned beginning Monday, September 18, with site supervisors Richard Sack and John Groves, and the leadership of Vern Failor. Volunteer builders (you?) will weather in the house this fall, and complete it in time for camp season to begin. This volunteer build effort will also serve as a dry run for future builds including Jones Lodge, the adult-friendly cabin that will replace Cabin 3. Work on that project is tentatively slated for fall 2018.

The new house will be across the drive east of the old one, angled toward the camp entrance. The old house will eventually be torn down. The 3-bedroom, two-bath home will have an oversized double garage and full basement. This modest house will be a sound, comfortable home for current caretakers Bryan and Ashley Brockus and for future camp employees.

Several designated financial gifts and volunteer labor are making this project possible. The house is expected to cost about $100,000.

Anyone who is able can participate in the build. Work crews and individuals are needed starting September 19. Men, women, youth—cooks, carpenters, helpers, people of all skill levels, no skills, and those willing to learn—there’s something for everyone. Food will be provided, and lodging as needed. Bring your tools if you have them.

Build days:

  • September 19-23
  • September 25-30
  • October 9-14 and beyond!

Sign up to volunteer online here or call volunteer coordinator, Vern Failor, 785-231-3960. Come even if you haven’t registered; registration is required if you plan to lodge at the camp. The camp is in use by various groups most weekends, and we will balance lodging needs carefully.